Chia seeds. You may have heard of them lately. They’re kind of a thing. They are all the rage in the health food circuit. Honestly I always ignore food trends because it’s just a matter of time before they get discarded and the new açaí berries or cocoa nibs come on the scene.
Chia seeds are different in my book, however. They are extremely healthy, yes, but chia seeds are also kind of magic.
Chia seeds have an extremely high amount of dietary fiber (35%) and protein (25%). The rest of the seed is mostly comprised of oil. That oil has an interesting make-up. Chia seeds have omega-6 fatty acids, but more importantly, they are an excellent source of omega-3’s. Chia actually has the highest omega-3 content of any known vegetable source. Omega-3 fatty acids are hard to find in high amounts in the foods that most of us eat on a daily basis, but they’re extremely important for health. They are essential which means that our body cannot synthesize them. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential as well, but in high amounts without omega-3’s, omega-6 fatty acids can actually be harmful. Because omega-6 fatty acids are much more prevalent in many foods, it is important to gobble up those omega-3’s while you can!
As for the other nutritional components of chia seeds—fiber and protein—they are not only healthful, but the fiber and protein lend a purpose! Hint: here is where the magic comes in. The fiber and the protein leach out of the seeds when in water and cause a gel to form. A recent study has even concluded that gels formed by chia seeds are more stable than those formed by similar gums used in foods. That means that you can literally create pudding just by putting chia seeds in milk. Incredible no?
Now that I have spouted the wonders of chia seeds, I bet you’re excited to see what I have in store for you. Because chia seeds have such a healthful oil profile and a large amount of protein and fiber, they make an ideal part of a meal. And it’s incredibly easy to blend into beverages. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Breakfast shake! Or rather breakfast malt because it has malted milk powder in it! A great way to start your morning!
Or if you’re trying to get that bikini body back in shape and have a craving, this is an excellent alternative to dessert. Enjoy and indulge in the trend!
**I have upped the liquid in this recipe as compared to the multitude of chia recipes out there because I wanted to be able to drink this out of a straw. All of the other recipes are more of a scoop-able breakfast, so if you want this to be a breakfast or dessert pudding, decrease the milk to 1 cup.
Chocolate Nutella Chia Seed Malt
¼ cup chia seeds
1 ½ cups skim milk (or almond/soy milk)
1 banana, ripe
2 tablespoons Nutella
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1. Either 1 ½ hours or the night before you make your breakfast malt, peel your banana and put it in the freezer in a bag. Put the chia seeds in a container, add the milk, and put it in the fridge.
2. After 1 ½ hours or the morning after step one, you are ready to blend. The chia milk should be slightly gelatinous, and the banana should be at least slightly hard. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or use an immersion blender depending on what you have available.
3. Adjust the malt to your taste depending on how sweet or chocolatey or malty you want it. Serve immediately.
Alternatively, you could prepare this malt the night before so that it is ready in the morning for you. Remember how I mentioned above that chia seeds are excellent in their gel stability? That means that it will keep for a day or two in the fridge. Because this recipe makes two malts, you can store the second half of the batch for your breakfast the next day! You don’t need to share!